Max Bryant will give a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Wednesday, April 4, at 12:15 pm. His talk is entitled “Displaying the Antique in Georgian London: The Houses of Charles Townley and the Earl of Shelburne.”

The display of the antique was an important stage in the development of modern museum culture. This talk will reconstruct tours around the two most important such displays in late eighteenth-century London, at the homes of the Earl of Shelburne and Charles Townley, based in part on research for the redisplay of Shelburne’s sculpture gallery, opening in Fall 2019 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The reconstruction of these tours will further demonstrate the influence of such displays on subsequent collections, notably those of William Beckford and Thomas Hope, the two most important British collectors of the generation after Shelburne and Townley (and the subject of previous Bard Graduate Center exhibitions and publications).

Max Bryant is author of The Museum by the Park: 14 Queen Anne’s Gate from Charles Townley to Axel Johnson (Paul Holberton Publishing, 2017). He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2016 and is currently an academic fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, working on the sculptor Richard Westmacott. He will be a curatorial fellow beginning in September, working on the reopening of the new British galleries.